Welcome back to The Buy Line, where we analyze how the new market forces of menswear—driven by the Internet and the rise of a more savvy consumer—have redefined where the intersection of well-made and well-priced lands.
Here at Kempt HQ, we often receive letters from our readers—most of it adoring fan mail, but every so often we get a nude photo. Also, every so often we get an inquiry from a wayward soul who we feel compelled to answer...
“I’ve been looking to buy a new pair of shoes and I keep seeing these classic styles with absurdly colorful soles. I like them, but I wonder in what situations they are acceptable? For instance, could I wear neon-orange-soled brogues with a suit to work and still look professional? Or are they strictly casual? I’m not looking to buy something that I can only wear in the most specific of situations.”
While we’ve noticed more and more neon soles pop up over the past few seasons, there’s no guarantee this look will still be in favor five years from now, or even next summer, so if you’re planning on spending the few hundred bucks on a pair of shoes that are classic in every sense other than the sole, you’re taking a serious risk.
So we’ll start with this, dear reader: if you’re looking for your first pair of dress shoes, these are not them—if that’s the case, you should be taking the standard navy blazer approach: find a pair of shoes that will go with everything else in your wardrobe, from gray flannel to twill, like these cap toes from Allen Edmonds.
It would be remiss of us not to alert you to a handsome new batch of Allen Edmonds shoes that have just landed at UrbanDaddy Perks. It’s the first place you’ll be able to get your hands on AE’s newest cognac-hued line of shoes (there’s a couple wingtips and a loafer), made in Wisconsin—at an equally good-looking price. This is how you’ll kick your fall wardrobe into high gear.
The clock is winding down. Your white bucks are mere days away from retiring to the darkest corner of your closet to hibernate till the sun comes out next year. And right on time for a substitution are these handsome navy suede Allen Edmonds plain-toe oxfords that’ve landed exclusively in the heritage aisle of Lands’ End Canvas (hat tip). They’re handmade in Wisconsin and, as a #menswear-friendly touch, come with two sets of laces—lime green or alabaster, depending on what the occasion calls for. Plus you can get away with wearing them sockless for as long as your ankles can stand the dropping temps.
We usually stay far away from anything that might be thought of as novelty footwear—but thanks to the divine harmony between boat shoes and summer days at the ballpark (not to mention the handsomeness of baseball leather), we’re willing to give this one a pass. It arrived this morning from Allen Edmonds. It should look best sockless, and in a stadium.